If your car is more than three years old, or has done more than 60,000 miles, it’s highly likely the manufacturer’s warranty will have come to an end.
Every year, thousands of cars are left without any sort of warranty, leaving millions of pounds being spent on repairs.
Whether or not you buy a used car warranty depends on whether you are prepared to take a gamble that nothing will go wrong with a used car. You could put some money aside for a repair fund for your car or you could play it safe and take out used car warranty insurance, which will protect you against the cost of parts and labour following any sort of mechanical or electrical failure.
If your car is known to be a very reliable model, you may not think it’s worth paying money every month on an insurance policy that might never be claimed but then you risk having to shell out for costly repairs if the car dies suffer from a fault. A good warranty could only be a few hundred pounds a year, yet a sudden failure of a vehicle’s components could run into the thousands. What would you rather?
What is and isn’t covered?
Most used car warranties are limited, and their coverage varies. Some parts or systems may be covered by a full warranty, while others are covered by a limited warranty.
It usually covers repairs to things like the engine, transmission system, fuel and engine system, air-conditioning or cooling system, electrics, gearbox, steering and suspension.
Usually though, wearing parts, such as bodywork, door handles, tyres, clutch plate, exhaust, battery, brakes pads and discs, spark plugs, hoses and drive belts are typically not covered. Some providers allow drivers to add on extra protection – such as for in-car ‘infotainment’ audio, phone and navigation systems.
How do I buy it?
Used car warranties will usually be for either three months, six months or 12 months. Make sure you take note of any potential mileage cap on this though, as running over could invalidate your claim.
The range of cover depends on the scheme. If you are buying an aftermarket warranty, the more you pay, the better the cover will be. Always read the small print to ensure you know exactly what is covered as individual polices can vary dramatically.
If you buy a car directly from an approved dealer, it’s likely to come with its own warranty, which will usually offer a very comprehensive policy. It will typically only cover 12 months though so you will have to decide whether to take another one out or cease paying for a warranty altogether once it’s run out.
You can buy used car warranty insurance directly from your car dealer or an insurance company.